I was recently asked, “What are the best ways for a recently laid off worker to quickly get past the emotions and mental stress of being let go?
Here are a few methods to be able to bounce back more quickly. These tips for overcoming the layoff letdown address our internal emotional life and actionable ways to keep moving forward.
- Acknowledge your emotions – When going through a layoff it’s absolutely normal to feel sad, disappointed, frustrated and maybe even a little angry. A layoff means that your world is about to change and your daily routine is going to be different. We are habitual beings so when we find ourselves unemployed we may not know what to do with our now found freedom. “That which we resist persists” so don’t try to avoid how you’re feeling.
- Remember it’s not personal – A layoff is different than being fired. A layoff can come about for different reasons that have everything to do with the company rather than you personally. It may be a singular lay off or a round of layoffs where more than one person is given their notice. Layoffs happen for reasons such as the company doesn’t have the revenue to support the same number of employees; a project has been discontinued; or there is no longer a need for a particular position or a department. What are you making it mean? Why not make it mean something positive and reframe it as an opportunity to learn something and be challenged in an exciting new way?
- Check in with yourself and reassess – Being laid off can actually be a great time to reassess your career and career path. Take advantage of the opportunity to look at the environment at your previous company, who you worked with, the manager you reported to, and what your responsibilities were to see if they are a match to who you really are and what you value personally and professionally. What was your previous position or company lacking? If you could choose a new boss, who is that person? (What are their personality traits, their leadership style, and what are they a great example of?)
- Take advantage of your time – I’ve worked with a number of people who were surprised at how busy they were after being let go from their job. They were able to spend more time with their kids, run errands, work on their home, take classes, exercise or just relax. A lot of people get caught up in a hypnotic trance of their typical day to day. Having a new found freedom and available time to spend it how you choose, you may develop some great habits you enjoy that you may want to continue doing once you start working again.
- Strategize and create a game plan – Rather than getting caught up in the confusion, anger or even boredom of being laid off, spend some time creating a game plan to strategize your way to your next position. Doing this will get you moving forward and will get you focused on staying inspired from a place of personal growth. You can do this on your own or connect with a friend, colleague, mentor or coach who can be your support system, cheerleader and can help you brainstorm your way to what’s next.